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Learning to teach secondary geography

This section of the website is designed to support new teachers to become high quality geography teachers with a clear vision of what good, knowledge-rich teaching is like in geography. It also seeks to help them become creative geography teachers and make their classrooms supportive environments for geography learning where all students make good progress. 

The information and guidance available will help them to develop their geography pedagogy knowledge and skills and reflect critically and constructively on their teaching.

Working with the DfE Frameworks for ITT and ECTs

If you would like to view the contents of the Learning to teach secondary geography section mapped against the Department for Education’s Teachers’ Standards 1–8 click the button below.

The Dfe has published two Frameworks, one for ITT and one for induction. These set out what all new teachers are entitled to learn about and learn how to do during their initial training and induction. 

All ITE routes and induction training must use these Frameworks when designing and delivering programmes. The Teachers’ Standards are used for the assessment of new teachers at the end of their training and induction.

The guidance on these pages supports these Frameworks and includes all that new teachers should learn about and learn how to do with respect to geography teaching. 

The table below sets out how the themes in Learning to teach geography relate to both the Frameworks and the Teachers’ Standards.

ITT/ECT FrameworksTeachers’ StandardsLearning to teach geography
High expectations and managing behaviourS1 – Set high expectations and S7 – Manage behaviour effectivelyGood geography teaching: high expectations
How pupils learnS2 – Promote good progressStudents’ learning in geography
Subject and curriculumS3 – Demonstrate good subject and curriculum knowledgeGeography subject teaching and curriculum
Classroom practiceS4 – Plan and teach well – structured lessonsClassroom practice in geography
Adaptive teachingS5 – Adapt teachingInclusion and adaptive teaching
AssessmentS6 – Make accurate and productive use of assessmentAssessment in geography
Professional behavioursS7 – Fulfil wider professional responsibilitiesProfessional responsibilities

 Working through these pages

Each section in Learning to teach secondary geography addresses what new geography teachers need to know. The information on the pages and the downloadable files have been written specifically for new geography teachers, both those in training and early career teachers. 

There are activities and tasks, checklists and evaluation questions. There are many references to Teaching Geography articles that you can access from the journals section of this website. There are also links to GA web pages and some external sites with articles, case studies, lesson plans and video clips.

There is a good deal of information in these pages that will provide both depth and breadth of knowledge in geography pedagogy. Most new teachers will not follow up all avenues on one visit to a topic and will return when they have gained more teaching experience so they can draw on this when reflecting on best practice. The advice is to look at the pages during initial training and explore them further during induction to follow up case studies and readings.

The webpages make frequent reference to readings in the three books listed below. It is useful to have copies to hand during your training and your early years in teaching. They can be purchased via the GA web shop.

  • Biddulph, M., Lambert, D. and Balderstone, D. (2021) Learning to Teach Geography in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience, 4th edition. London: Routledge.
  • Jones, M. (ed) (2017) The Handbook of Secondary Geography. Sheffield: Geographical Association.
  • Roberts, M. (2023) Geography through Enquiry: An approach to teaching and learning in the secondary school, 2nd edition. Sheffield: Geographical Association.

To download all the materials and GA articles that are referenced, you must log in as a GA member. You can join the GA here.

Learning to teach secondary geography